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-   -   I did a nice gesture.....we'll see if it's appreciated or not (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=877149)

LiveFree 06-14-2019 11:54 AM

I did a nice gesture.....we'll see if it's appreciated or not
 
So, I know this person from the gym. We talk for a short bit every day. Her lawnmower is broken, and can't get it to the shop in her car. She isn't fussy about keeping the lawn too maintained. Said her crummy lawn hasn't been cut in about a month.

I only know her by first name, but have heard her say her last name a time or two. Easy to figure out where she lives going roughly by where she has said she lives, and looking on the town tax database.

So, I went over today and cut the lawn. Took me 15 minutes. She didn't have a clue that I was going to do this.


Would you be appreciative that it was done, or wierded out that I had to look up the address???


I did it to be nice.

SmellMyWort 06-14-2019 12:03 PM

Should be an option for "both." Why would you not just offer first?

Sunny Daze 06-14-2019 12:03 PM

It was not nice that you dug around to find out where she lives. It was a real invasion of her privacy and one you should never, ever repeat.

If a situation like this ever comes up again, you should offer to help out, rather than sneaking around. The sneaking is where the creepy came in.

All in all, a nice thought but very poorly executed.

manson1972 06-14-2019 12:04 PM

Yeah, that seems pretty creepy to me. Why did you have to do it that way? Why not just "Hey, I can come over and mow it" and see what she says?

Ambivalid 06-14-2019 12:05 PM

Let me guess, she's pretty?

LiveFree 06-14-2019 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambivalid (Post 21697951)
Let me guess, she's pretty?


She's NOT pretty. 😀

markn+ 06-14-2019 12:10 PM

I say pretty creepy. The idea that someone would look up my address, come to my house and mess around with my property in my yard when I'm not there and didn't approve it, is really not ok. You should have just asked first.

Guinastasia 06-14-2019 12:13 PM

I'd feel like you were stalking me. Dude, just don't. *shudder*

MeanJoe 06-14-2019 12:15 PM

Nice thought, very inappropriate and creepy execution. If she was dropping hints of these problems with a hope you'd offer to help - you should have just offered to help.

Omar Little 06-14-2019 12:17 PM

Do you call her Elvira?

Gus Gusterson 06-14-2019 12:17 PM

Trespassing and stalking. Plus she will probably assume that you want to bone her so she may be uncomfortable around you now. You meant well but you shouldn't have done it.

Chronos 06-14-2019 12:26 PM

If you were neighbors, and so knowing where she lives was an inherent part of your relationship, then it might be a nice gesture.

But using her overheard last name to look her up in databases to find where she lives is already creepy. And then physically going there and doing things to her property without asking (yes, even nice things like mowing her lawn) takes that creepiness to the next level.

And I hesitate to even ask, but... just front lawn, or front and back both?

elbows 06-14-2019 12:30 PM

She’s going to just think one of her neighbours got tired of looking at it, and dealt with it.

What sort of appreciation are you expecting, exactly? Because she now probably thinks she can just forget about it and the neighbour will eventually deal will it, zero appreciation required.

Expecting appreciation, in any form including a ‘thank you’, turns this from a kindness to an attempt to create an obligation. To stroke your ego with gratitude.

Looking up her address is straight up crossing a line, and when she learns that part she’ll remain always on guard around you, and rightly so.

And if you’re trying to date this woman or win her affection, you’re definitely doing it wrong.

LiveFree 06-14-2019 12:34 PM

I guess I see the points being made. Was just trying to give a surprise to someone. I fu+*ed up. And asked a mod to delete this thread.

running coach 06-14-2019 12:35 PM

I'd say you're lucky your ass isn't grass.

Thudlow Boink 06-14-2019 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveFree (Post 21698027)
I guess I see the points being made. Was just trying to give a surprise to someone. I fu+*ed up. And asked a mod to delete this thread.

Sounds to me like your heart was in the right place. Don't feel too bad, but live and learn and don't do it again.

I don't think you did anything actually illegalómaybe trespassing, but mowing somebody else's lawn is the kind of thing neighbors occasionally do for each other without anyone getting upset, so as long as she didn't catch you in the act and tell you to get lost, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Ambivalid 06-14-2019 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveFree (Post 21698027)
And asked a mod to delete this thread.

Hahaha! Dude, you been here more than a minute now, you know that aint happening!

LiveFree 06-14-2019 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 21698050)
Sounds to me like your heart was in the right place. Don't feel too bad, but live and learn and don't do it again.

I don't think you did anything actually illegal—maybe trespassing, but mowing somebody else's lawn is the kind of thing neighbors occasionally do for each other without anyone getting upset, so as long as she didn't catch you in the act and tell you to get lost, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Yeah, I'm now beating myself up over this. Anxiety and all. I'm NOT going to tell her that I did it.

I would still like a mod to delete this. Mainly because of my username.

harmonicamoon 06-14-2019 12:56 PM

Would have been better if you did it when she was not home.

And never mentioned it.

Little Nemo 06-14-2019 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harmonicamoon (Post 21698062)
Would have been better if you did it when she was not home.

And never mentioned it.

Still creepy. Maybe even more creepy.

I know I'd be a little concerned if I came home one day and saw evidence that somebody else had been hanging out around my house doing things.

kopek 06-14-2019 01:03 PM

I am that one freakazoid left who always tries to assign good intent to the actions of others so I would be thankful. The danger more would be that you would get weirded out coming across an actual tombstone and what looks like a grave in my lawn.

Little Nemo 06-14-2019 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveFree (Post 21698027)
I guess I see the points being made. Was just trying to give a surprise to someone. I fu+*ed up. And asked a mod to delete this thread.

You have to think about how things look to other people. You know what your intentions were and know you had no sinister motives. But she doesn't know what's inside your head. For all she knows, you're a stalker.

eschrodinger 06-14-2019 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveFree (Post 21698059)
Yeah, I'm now beating myself up over this. Anxiety and all. I'm NOT going to tell her that I did it.

Fine if you never mention it and it never comes up. But, if she brings it up and is at all freaked out about it, or if she asks if you did it, you need to tell her. You can say something like, "I did it trying to do something nice, but some friends set me straight about it not being appropriate. I know it was a mistake, and I won't do anything like that again." Then you accept whatever feedback she wants to give about it, and be prepared not to be friends anymore. But the creepiness will go up a thousand fold if she talks about being freaked out by it, or asks, and you say nothing.

Vinyl Turnip 06-14-2019 01:17 PM

You'd better put that grass back immediately, mister!

UltraVires 06-14-2019 01:42 PM

My lawnmower is broken as well. Just saying, since you are in the giving spirit and all...

ETA: silliness aside, I cannot understand for a second all of the responses in this thread. If someone wants to come cut my grass, have at it. If they had jimmied the lock on the front door to clean up or something, I would see the problem with such an intrusion, but to do something on the outside? Hell yeah. Siding needs power washed as well.

dalej42 06-14-2019 01:49 PM

I’d be creeped out as well. I’ve only known one person I’d consider to be a stalker, and she regularly looked up people on public record databases. I don’t need to know if one of my coworkers got a speeding ticket in 2010, much less if they have any more serious offences.

When I was young, yes we used to shovel the snow from our elderly neighbors sidewalk. Not only did it help me get to school and avoid stomping through snow, but it wasn’t like we tried to hide it.

Living Well Is Best Revenge 06-14-2019 01:51 PM

Nice thought and it sounds like you meant well, but most likely she will be creeped out by this.

Velocity 06-14-2019 02:05 PM

What the others said: It was a nice gesture but you should have asked or suggested it to her first.

monstro 06-14-2019 02:06 PM

I think it was kind of you to do this but also a bit tone-deaf.

However, it is just grass.

I have some weedy trees on the side of my house. I kind of like them because they give me some privacy while I am doing stuff in my backyard, but they can get a bit overgrown. I put it on my May to-do list to trim them but I kept putting it off.

One day I am tooling around in the backyard and I discover that someone clipped my weedy trees quite severely, reducing my privacy by 50%. That bugged me some. But I was also glad that I was off the hook for more yardwork. And then I felt embarrassed wondering if my neighbor had done it out of frustration over me not keeping my "shrubbery" as neat as he keeps his.

About a week after the fact I realized that the power company had trimmed trees all throughout the neighborhood. Even though my trees weren't technically in the right-of-way, they were still pretty close. The contractor probably figured they would be nice and trim those bad boys for me. I am glad that's all it was, because otherwise I would still be having some negative feelings.



Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

Inigo Montoya 06-14-2019 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveFree
And asked a mod to delete this thread.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ambivalid (Post 21698058)
Hahaha! Dude, you been here more than a minute now, you know that aint happening!


Ever heard the phrase, "Maybe your purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others"? Not only will it not be deleted, the thread will likely become a frequently cited example of good guy stalking. You're practically in meme territory here, LiveFree.

bobot 06-14-2019 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiveFree (Post 21697931)
So, I know this person from the gym. ...
I only know her by first name, but have heard her say her last name a time or two. Easy to figure out where she lives going roughly by where she has said she lives, and looking on the town tax database.

So, I went over today and cut the lawn. ...

That's not cool.

pulykamell 06-14-2019 03:07 PM

I mean, clearly, the fact that you made a thread about this means you did at the very least think that in the back of your head this could be considered a bit creepy, no? Why didn't you ask before you did it?

harmonicamoon 06-14-2019 04:07 PM

Get over it LiveFree you did a nice gesture. I believe your heart was in a good place.

Don't know why these folks are upset.

But then, thankfully I don't live in their world.

Dewey Finn 06-14-2019 04:18 PM

You know it's possible both to have your heart in a good place and to have done something creepy.

snfaulkner 06-14-2019 04:35 PM

Given the option, I'd have voted both. But I had to go with creepy because that far outweighs the nice.

cochrane 06-14-2019 04:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harmonicamoon (Post 21698346)
Get over it LiveFree you did a nice gesture. I believe your heart was in a good place.

Don't know why these folks are upset.

But then, thankfully I don't live in their world.

Then, there's always that one person who just doesn't get it.

SirRay 06-14-2019 05:15 PM

I may have missed this point, but you cut the lawn with, I suppose, your own lawnmower. Which you must have somehow got to her place.
So, why didn't you instead offer to cart her lawnmower off to the shop (and pick it up later) instead of just cutting her lawn?

Little Nemo 06-14-2019 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harmonicamoon (Post 21698346)
Get over it LiveFree you did a nice gesture. I believe your heart was in a good place.

Don't know why these folks are upset.

But then, thankfully I don't live in their world.

You live in the same world as the rest of us. It's the world where the vast majority of people are friendly and nice. And a few people are Ed Gein.

harmonicamoon 06-14-2019 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cochrane (Post 21698390)
Then, there's always that one person who just doesn't get it.


Believe me, it is an honor to be in this group.

Sunny Daze 06-14-2019 05:57 PM

The OP asked a question. I took him at his word and answered honestly. If he didn't already know how this would come across, he needed to know. "Upset" doesn't come into this.

TokyoBayer 06-14-2019 06:20 PM

It’s tone deaf because it’s crossing boundaries many people feel strongly about.

I wouldn’t like people looking up my address like that. I prefer my privacy.
Quote:

Originally Posted by harmonicamoon (Post 21698429)
Believe me, it is an honor to be in this group.

Which group? The one whose members feel its necessary to belittle others for having different view of life?

ioioio 06-14-2019 07:32 PM

IMHO your best bet is to confess to the woman that you are the mystery mower and apologize your ass off. Explain that your intentions were good but you didn't think about the creepiness factor until your friends pointed it out.

Don't mention how you got her address unless she asks. If she asks, tell the truth and apologize more.

To summarize: truth, apologize. Make it clear that you know you're a dumb ass.

don't ask 06-14-2019 07:50 PM

I notice that the OP doesn't mention that the woman was not at home while he mowed the lawn. So I can only picture her cowering inside, frantically whispering into the phone, asking when the hell the police are going to arrive.

Maybe twenty minutes later there she is giving a statement, "Yes officer, he looked familiar. I just can't recall where I have seen him before."

monstro 06-14-2019 07:55 PM

I would very much advise against confessing. Right now, she has probably convinced herself that someone in the neighborhood was just being helpful. Let her keep believing this. The OP might feel better apologizing, but then he's putting her in the awkward position of having to show both gratitude AND forgiveness, in addition to feeling weirded-out. And having to relive those feelings every time sees him at the gym? No, just no.

This was a faux pas for sure, but not all faux pas require a confession and an apology. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

pulykamell 06-14-2019 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monstro (Post 21698572)
I would very much advise against confessing. Right now, she has probably convinced herself that someone in the neighborhood was just being helpful. Let her keep believing this. The OP might feel better apologizing, but then he's putting her in the awkward position of having to show both gratitude AND forgiveness, in addition to feeling weirded-out. And having to relive those feelings every time sees him at the gym? No, just no.

This was a faux pas for sure, but not all faux pas require a confession and an apology. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Agreed.

Beckdawrek 06-14-2019 10:05 PM

Dude, you shouldn't have done it. But, you did. Live with whatever consequences you receive. Leave the lady alone. If she asks you about it, own up and apologize, profusely.
Creepy, creepy and bad.

harmonicamoon 06-14-2019 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TokyoBayer (Post 21698490)
Itís tone deaf because itís crossing boundaries many people feel strongly about.

I wouldnít like people looking up my address like that. I prefer my privacy.
Which group? The one whose members feel its necessary to belittle others for having different view of life?


Belittle? You need to reread the post.

madmonk28 06-15-2019 12:19 AM

OP, just curious, but would you have done the same thing if the acquaintance was a man? Somehow I have a hard to believe that you would go to the trouble of consulting tax records (creepy) for someone for whom you only knew their last name because you overheard it (creepy) if the person was a man. You've made it clear that you get it and I don't mean to pile on, but it's patronizing to show up and fix this problem for someone you barely know and I doubt you would have been that patronizing to another man.

Melbourne 06-15-2019 01:05 AM

I'm not voting either way -- I'm not creeped out, and if I wanted my lawn mowed badly enough to be thankful for it, I would have got the lawn mowed.

FWIW, I, like the father of one of my friends, found that when I looked sufficiently old and derelict, young women didn't treat me with suspicion and disdain. As long as they think that you think that you have a chance, they are gonna be creeped out by anything you do. I suggest that you just accept that and get on with your life. If that includes mowing lawns, go ahead and do it. Expect to be treated with suspicion. Don't expect to be thanked.

Moving slightly away from the creepy/stalker note, Americans are known in general to be uncomfortable with social debt. If you're the kind of person who wants to do things for people, that's not going to work. You need to find a way to balance what you do with what they can do for you.

One of my friends actually did do yard work for his friends and co-workers. He had an open invitation: will work for food. If you've got something that needs doing, like moving, or digging, or mowing, he'd spend the day or afternoon doing it in exchange for a family dinner.

TokyoBayer 06-15-2019 01:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harmonicamoon (Post 21698704)
Belittle? You need to reread the post.

Oh, I never realized that "But then, thankfully I don't live in their world." is a compliment. Carry on.


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